Wind energy - why, where from and how?

2 May 2019

An off shore wind farm

At Outfox the Market, we are proud to to say that all of our electricity is generated by UK offshore wind farms and is 100% renewable. But how much do you, the customer, really know about how wind farms generate your power? We’re here to let you know!

The history

In the UK, it is estimated that 40% of the wind that comes across Europe passes over us first, making it very windy. Because of this, it allows us to generate lots of power, just from the weather!

In 2008, 1.5% of the UK’s total electricity use was generated by wind power. Fast forwards to 2017 and 17% of the UK’s total electricity use was generated by wind power. That’s a big change in only 9 years.

The first commercial wind farm in the UK was built in 1991 in Cornwall, with a total of 10 wind turbines installed. The UK also has the largest offshore wind power capacity in the world, with the first offshore wind farm being completed in December 2003 in north east Wales.

Wind turbines – how do they really work?

You may have seen wind turbines out and about. Those big white towers that look like fans and are usually found in big groups. That is a wind farm.

Wind causes the blades to turn. The blades face the wind and are adjusted to ensure the best rotation. When the blades rotate, they also rotate a shaft and a generator, which in turn, convert the energy in to electricity.

In more modern wind turbines, sensors are installed to detect the power, speed and direction of the wind so they can automatically adjust the blades to generate as much power as possible.

The further the wind turbine is away from the electricity grid, the more energy is lost.

Why is renewable energy so good?

Wind farms give out no toxic pollution or emissions and is therefore one of the cleanest and most sustainable ways to generate electricity. Unlike with fossil fuels, we will never run out of wind, making it 100% renewable.

There are also other forms of renewable energy which are much better than using fossil fuels to power our infrastructure.

Solar power is a popular source of renewable energy which took the UK by storm in the mid to late-2000’s. In 2006, high street retailer Curry’s announced they would be stocking solar modules and even offered an installation service with them. By the end of 2011, there were 230,000 solar power projects in the UK.

Sunlight is another source of natural energy we will never run out of (or at least not for billions of years) making it a perfect way to power our homes. Solar panels take in the sunlight and convert it to electricity which you can use to power your home.

You also have hydroelectric power. Much like old school water mills, hydroelectric power is generated by water. Both huge hydroelectric dams and small river plants are used and generate 18% of the UK’s renewable energy. Despite such a high percentage of the renewable energy capacity, it only makes up 1.8% of the total generating capacity.

The requirements

All British electricity suppliers are legally required to provide a proportion of their sales from renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power, but not all of them provide 100% renewable electricity like we do. With climate change becoming more important every year, using renewable energy is become more and more necessary in order to help save our planet.

Why not make the switch to Outfox the Market today?